Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Simple Pint from a much Maligned Brewery.

It’s a contradictory time of year for me at the moment. I seem to be writing and reading winter and experiencing high summer. I’m not big on summer, my ferments become difficult to control, I can only tap one corny at a time as there is only room for one in the cellar fridge and my stout build seems far more adept at keeping southerly gales at bay than handling heat waves. And hot it is at the moment, with official temperatures in the high 20’s my house has been venturing way into the 30’s.

So it was yesterday when I came upon a bottle of Shepherd Neame Master Brew. Shepherd Neame get a fair bit of flack for producing less than interesting beers, bar the much celebrated seasonal porter. Their bottled beers are hindered by the inexplicable decision to use clear bottles. All in all I’m not a huge fan of the brewery but when I saw a bottle of Master Brew sitting at Rumbles I couldn’t resist, partially because it would constitute a tick in Protz 300 and partially because the heat was making me want a simple pint to slack my thirst.

Shepherd Neame Master Brew 4%abv

Pours a light copper with a tight dense head. Aroma features citrus, lemon and lime fruit essence, a touch of nutty malt and a touch of light strike. On the palate the lemon lime character is continued, a slight caramalt character, and a decent bitter finish. A light quenching pint, would be better from the cask

Over all Master Brew was what I expected, a simple quenching pint, or as I said to Adam when he got home, not as bad as it could have been.

10 comments:

Greig McGill said...

"Less than interesting"? Fighting talk Kieran! Spitfire is one of my all time favourites. You're right about the clear bottles though, that's just insanity.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

hhhm , I would have to try it on cask to really coment but spitfire...the best thing is the marketing, not any fokker.

John said...

producing less than interesting beers

I'm with you on that one Kieran personally I don't rate Shepherds Neame as I find their beers pretty uninspiring.

Oddly enough Bishops Finger was on at my local last night! It occurred to me that I've only ever had this beer from bottles previously so I decided to try a half, whilst the beer seemed to taste better than I remember it was still pretty "middle of the road".

Greig McGill said...

Hrm, I actually meant Bish Fing, not Spitfire above. Odd, I really rate it.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

fair enougth, many others must also as its a succesfull brewery.

Kempicus said...

I'm with Greig, Shepherd Neame is one of my favourite breweries! Strangely enough masterbrew does taste better from the cask but Bishops finger is a lot more interesting from the bottle (if it's not skunked). It's similar to Adnams Broadside, from the cask i find broadside to be a pretty good beer but from the bottle it's lifted to heights of excellence, the addition of extra alcohol to both the Bish and Broadside to counteract the flavour stripping qualities of the pasteurisation process actually improves the flavour and subtleties of the beer.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

Hamtown Sheps fan club, hehe.

Greig McGill said...

Nah, Kempicus is Staffordshire born and bred, and lives in the Wellytron now! ;)

That said, Te Awamutu reprazent!

Speaking of smalltown NZ, Kieran, are you doing your epic trip again this year? I feel like another Galbraiths session!

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

Not now im mortgage bound, but i do plan ona quick trip up to Akers in feb sometime, Braiths and perhaps Hallertau.

Greig McGill said...

OK, let me know when and I'll join you. We can argue about Bish Fing over a pint or five of Bellringers.